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Newsletter of Project Renaissance and Win Wenger


November 2003





*Quote of the Month



*FEATURE ARTICLE: "Towards the Art and Science of

†† Asking Questions" - by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

*Comments & Feedback

*Links - archives, back issues, homepage

*Reader Questionnaire






"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without

any other reason but because they are not already common."

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -≠ John Locke










WELCOME to all new members who have joined us this month. We hope

to hear from you and to give you much food for thought. Back issues

are available upon request. Just add the month to the subject line:




TESTIMONIALS COMPENDIUM - Project Renaissance is collecting input

from successful users of its methods. Have you used Image-Streaming,

Borrowed Genius, Toolbuilder, Windtunnel or any of the many other

powerful problem-solving and creative solution-finding methods

of Win Wenger and Project Renaissance? Have you found them to be

personally helpful and effective for you? Do you think they are of

value to people in their everyday life? Would you take a few minutes

and write a short account of how they have helped you, and email it

to Project Renaissance's Executive Director, Tijl Koenderink, at . Your name will not be

published without your authorization.





Project Renaissance is seeking dedicated individuals who like to

help others help themselves, and who would like to learn the

techniques of Project Renaissance to this end. We are planning

trainer workshops through various channels.


If you'd like to find out more about the possibility of becoming a

trainer, whether full-time or part-time, please email your interest

to Project Renaissance's Executive Director, Tijl Koenderink, at




NOVEMBER IN DECEMBER?We apologize for the lateness of this issue.

The editor and all other staff of Project Renaissance were deeply

engrossed in the Annual Double Festival conference on creative

problem solving and accelerated learning and training sessions of

Project Renaissance techniques.


>From November 13-20, not a creature was stirring in the editorial

offices, not even the mouse.


We hope to have some pictures up on the website soon. The theme of

the conference was "Problem-Solving in the Global Village," and a

slate of wonderful speakers addressed this topic from many different

viewpoints. Intensive training sessions took participants through

a gamut of interactive processes, with excellent results. If you've

never attended one of Project Renaissance's Double Festivals, you

owe it to yourself to do so at the next opportunity:November 2004.

Also watch for announcements of a special workshop in May 2004.




SUBSCRIBER OR MEMBER? If you currently only subscribe to The Stream,

you can upgrade your participation in Project Renaissance to full

membership, free. Membership in Project Renaissance entitles members

to additional benefits. If you're not yet a member, please register

now, here: - or from link on

the homepage, .




DUPLICATE MAILING? If you received two (or more?) copies of this

issue of The Stream, please let us know by replying to:




How you can participate...


* You can post messages on Project Renaissance's discussion board

about any Project Renaissance topic and join any ongoing

discussions. No log-in required. Please visit the homepage at and click the Discussion Board link.

To post a message right now, click here:


* The long-established, popular Image-Streaming egroup is here: - requires Yahoo sign-in.


* Submit articles, comments or questions for possible inclusion in











Free monthly meetings of High Thinktank...Open to the public.

Upcounty Regional Services Center -- Room C

12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown, MD.


Meetings begin at 7:30pm sharp. New topics each time.

Please check the Project Renaissance website calendar

for details and directions, at




The Creativity Salon

An ongoing monthly program of the New York City-based

Creativity Institute, Andre and Judy de Zanger, directors


December 17, 2003

Open to the public with no fee charge.

Midtown Manhattan Library

455 Fifth Avenue (40th St. and 5th Ave.)

6th floor meeting rooms


Room opens at 6:30 p.m., session starts at 7 p.m.

(We have to get out right at 8:30 p.m.)


This month's program:



A high-speed way to get to new and powerful insights

Led by Dr. Win Wenger


Contact person:

Linda Dove, phone 212-340-0872 Salon






Feature Article:



††††††††††††††††††††††† by Win Wenger, Ph.D.


I have long believed, given our almost limitless capacity for

effectively answering questions, that if we could further develop

the art of asking questions, we would be in for some huge benefits

and advances.


Also, I have long believed that to make it a point each day to ask

ourselves several questions, the discipline of asking questions

each day would give us huge gains.It is the key element in the

Socratic method and its applications.


This is why I proposed, during an October workshop in Ireland, and

again during the November Double Festival, that participants keep

a journal in which they ask themselves three questions a day and

answer two of them, either by use of our creative problem-solving

methods such as Image-Streaming, or directly.


I also propose organizing an unofficial task force and focus of

inquiry, whose purpose is to develop the art and discipline and

procedures for generating useful questions. Individuals interested

in participating in this project, please email to the author at Taskforce


Sliced one way:What are the best questions one can ask about the

day, his job, his profession, his life, the needs of those around

him, his reason for being, his community, his nation, the world,

and the other great issues?


Sliced another way:What are the circumstances - and what are the

feelings - one should learn to recognize and use as a cue to ask

questions? And what should those questions be like, in various of

those circumstances?What questions are appropriate not just for

adults but also for children to ask and effectively answer, at

various ages, in what situations?


Sliced yet another way:What are appropriate daily questions at

different educational and functioning intellectual levels?For

example, what are matters about which one of high educational or

scientific background and, say, 180 IQ, would find useful and

appropriate to ask?What kind of day-to-day, situation-to-

situation questions could enable a mildly retarded person, by

making a practice of asking and answering them, to live independ-

ently and constructively (while doing that and other practices to

improve his intellectual functioning)?Or someone stuck in a

ghetto?What are good questions for people between jobs, or facing

matters of conscience, or a dysfunctional family (from either end)

or a strained marriage, or in a loss situation, or challenged by a

large opportunity, or various other situations?Can a formula of

best and most useful questions be developed for each of these



Sliced still yet another way:Which might be the most useful

formats for journals of questions-and-answers, generally and for

people in various of the above circumstances? (We'd need to

keep this pretty simple to keep it workable: I know of at least

one journaling program that complexified the process into something

few are willing to take up.)


One consideration:Context-specific formulas of specific questions

can make it easy for a wider number and range of people to apply

such a process successfully. Too much rigidity, however, can lead

to absurdities and counter-productive effects. How can this be

rendered concrete-supportive, flexibly open-ended and dynamic, and

simple, all at the same time?


Some things make this task easier:

(1) As in High Thinktank, asking, "What IS the best question to

ask in this context, and its best answer?"

(2) All the various question-answering, problem-solving tools,

once the question is identified.


There are some parallels here with uses of Image-Streaming, which

guarantees that no one ever, ever again has to suffer writer's

block or artist's block of any kind. Just Image-Stream in that

context, start describing, and the stuck point is gone as the

narrative or essay picks right back up.


An end to being stuck...if we can develop such a questions art and

science effectively, we can guarantee that no one need ever be

stuck in his situation or life, ever.Reflexively notice when you

encounter a difficulty, turn it into the appropriate question,

answer it, and move forward.


- Win Wenger



About the Author:


Win Wenger is the founder of Project Renaissance, pioneer in the

creativity and problem-solving fields and author of 48 books. Much

of his theoretical and applied work can be found on the official

website of Project Renaissance, .




To send feedback privately to the author, email Win Wenger at


To send your comments about this article to The Stream, write to:


To post your feedback or promote a discussion of this topic:










A question that I have found powerful at all times is: "What is

the intent?"

- Rory O'Connor, Creativity Coach





M.H. writes:


I wanted to let you know that Iíve been using your warm-up exercise

[from October 15, 2003 meeting], with fascinating results. On my

way to work [the next] morning, I decided to look at the road

through the eyes of an imagined builder and surveyor who had been

involved in building the original path back in the 1700s. I thought

it would be interesting to compare the way that it looks now (a

typical overcrowded suburban commuter road) with what may have been

there in its earliest days.


I immediately picked up some interesting ideas about the growth of

the road, and about what may have been there over two centuries

ago.(I need to do some research to check how valid my inferences

were.) On the way home at the end of the day, and without planning

to do so, I observed more about the topography of the road in one

evening than in over a decade driving the route before then. (I

never realized how hilly that terrain is.)


Iím continuing to work with this process. This morning, I decided

to look at the streets near my work through the eyes of a physicist

(a field in which I have no involvement.)I found myself taking

note of things I never paid attention to before, such as gradient

and friction on the road, light spectrum and how it played against

the buildings on a cloudy morning. Needless to say, I plan to

continue working on this skill. Thank you so much for sharing this

["Borrowed Perception"] technique with us the other night.

- M.H. ( )




[This poignant exchange is from :]


Katie Stemper ( ) wrote:


Is there anyone on this board who has studied the effects of Image-

Streaming by people with A.D.D. [attention deficit disorder]? The

wiring is different for the brain and I was wondering if it cut

down the daydreaming prevalent in those who have it, or if it has

just enriched the experience. Thanks!




Win Wenger ( ) replied:


That might be most of the problem in a nutshell. "Daydreaming" was

an essential part of how we thought and came to understand things

when we were children. Now children with unstructured time sit in

front of the TV, and we're treating daydreaming as a disease.


Perhaps there is an irreducible amount of daydreaming we need to

do, just as there is of various types of physical exercise.If

useful, Image-Streaming can make up some of the lost daydreaming

time; then its practice should ease the symptoms of the syndrome.

- Win Wenger




Katie Stemper ( ) continued:


Thanks for all the feedback and advice. I have to tell you that I am

already an obsessive scribbler and have been for years. I sleep with

a notebook by my bed and a tape recorder for those dreams or ideas

that tap me on the forehead in the wee hours. I get the little

spiral notebooks to stuff in my pocket when I am at work. The

attachment to these little scripts has made me seem eccentric to

family and friends. As a writer, I am never without some way to

capture that next scene or story idea.


The Image-Streaming is valuable when I am scripting the outline for

a novel. And as for my A.D.D., all these methods help to give order

to the whirling in my mind.


The one thing I find about this malady is that there is a misconcep-

tion that ADDers cannot concentrate. It can be the opposite in many

situations. I can overfocus or feel as though I am in a trance when

preoccupied with an idea. I think the real goal is to be conscious

of when I need to turn this off or on at will. People can have entire

conversations with me and if I am thinking about a story idea, for

instance, I will remember nothing of the encounter.


"Did you see the whites of my eyes?"


"Yes. You were looking right at me."


"Ah, but was there a glossy sheen or glaze? Did I really give you





As to the education system and the many children who are punished

for living in the Land of Alpha Waves, it would be great to make

new inroads with Image-Streaming and other techniques, but I think

schools are still reptilian in their approach to learning. Children

are taught to embrace labels, define territories and learn to eat or

be eaten within social groups. They are groomed to ask the right

question if they question at all. Each day is a lesson in construct-

ing the mask they must wear to be functioning adults in our culture.


When I tried to homeschool my own children, I had such high hopes

that I could teach them to love learning, to be curious and excited

about the possibilities. My husband was reluctant to let me teach

them at all and was pleased only when we handed him a stack of

boring worksheets "just like real school" at the end of the day.


Daydreaming and fantasy in the ADDer is the great escape from the

madness of conformity. To the world, it is an undisciplined mind

that can log off when bored. It is not seen as a method for

incubating genius.


Thanks again for your response . . .


- Katie Stemper ( )




Yolaine Stout ( ) responded:


Your story wants to make me cry. "A.D.D." kids proved themselves over

and over to be exceptional in my classes. Even though these kids were

often royal pains in my butt, I loved them dearly. I scream when I

hear the word "disorder". It is the schools that cannot accommodate

exceptional people like you. The schools are the ones that need to be

ordered. A.D.D. is a myth.You have a unique gift and make-up that

simply doesn't allow you to sit comfortably with the status quo. I am

happy that you have not succumbed to the "reptilian" tyranny and

judgment of left-brain-dominated academicians. You are absolutely

right. Conformity is madness. Isn't it funny how you can't tell an

"A.D.D." kid from anyone else when you get them out of the classroom

and into nature?Ritalin - the teacher's little helper.

- Yolaine




Kate Jones ( ) adds:


The Ritalin plague is a war against the mind.










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†††††††††††††††††††††††† PROJECT RENAISSANCE





1. What are your favorite kinds of questions to answer:


††††††† Trivia games ________


††††††† Quiz shows ______


††††††† Multiple-choice IQ tests ______


††††† Probing questions from inquisitive 5-year-olds _____


††††††† Other ____ (please describe)


2. When someone asks,"Can I ask you a question", do you:


††††††† Respond cheerfully, "Sure." _____


††††††† Cringe in anticipation of invasion_______


††††††† Chuckle at the paradox ______


††††††† Other ____ (please specify)



3. Is it easier for you to find solutions to others' questions than

†† for your own problems:


††††††† Always_____†††


††††††† Sometimes _____†††


††††††† Never _____

††††††† Other _____ (please explain)


To return this questionnaire, simply reply to this email, deleting

all but the questionnaire portion. Mark your answers with an X

except where long answer is indicated.



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